It began with a sad, empty corner of our master bedroom that needed a large-ish piece of art. We all know that big pieces of art can get expensive, but I already had a big Ikea frame that was the perfect size and shape. The frame had a weirdly faded mat and no glass, but I thought if I could find some cheap (or free) art to put in the frame, I could perk up that sad corner for merely the cost of a new mat and new glass.
It didn't take me long to decide to do something with paint chips. Clever, crafty paint-chip projects are all over the blogosphere and Pinterest these days. This one from Young House Love may have started the ombré-paint-chip trend:
I considered doing a triangle pattern like the one above. But then I thought, "Why copy only two fads when I could copy three?"
And the idea of a DIY-paint-chip-ombré-herringbone masterpiece was born.
I picked up the paint chips at Home Depot. The samples are, of course, free -- but I felt a little guilty about walking off with such a large bundle when I had no intention of buying any actual paint. To ease my conscience, I combined my paint-chip pillage with an actual shopping trip, so the store did make money off my visit.
Once my stash was procured, it was time to start cutting. For the herringbone pattern I wanted rectangles that were twice as wide as they were tall. I chose to make mine 3" x 1.5" because those dimensions worked nicely with the Behr paint samples. I used a ruler and a pencil to mark the paint chips, and then I cut the rectangles out with scissors.
Once I had a nice stack of rectangles, I arranged them on a piece of poster board. I took my time and played with them a bit to make sure I got a nice but not-too-perfect ombré effect.
When I was arranging the rectangles, I found it worked best to lay them out in horizontal zig-zags, starting with the lightest row at the top:
And then I arranged a slightly darker row underneath it in another zig-zag.
And so on. You get the picture. The herringbone pattern isn't exactly rocket science, but I found that the row-by-row method was best for getting the pattern and the ombré effect right.
Once I had my design all laid out and was sure it was big enough to fill up the space, I glued the paint chips to the poster board with a glue stick
And here it is, all framed and pretty. (Ignore the odd pink/yellow cast to the mat. I had a hard time getting the color right in these photos. It's just a basic white mat).
It's a little amazing to me how varied the blue tones are. All of the paint chips came from the "blue" section, and if you looked at each card individually you'd definitely say each one was blue. But juxtaposed with each other, some look gray, some look purple, and some look almost green.
Oh, and those dark ones at the bottom are navy or midnight blue, not black.
When I originally thought about this pattern, I imagined that it would look like ocean waves, but once it was done I found that it looked more like a very abstract mountain range.
Which is funny, because here is what's hanging on the other side of that window:
An actual photo of the Blue Ridge mountains, by the talented Bill Swindaman. So we have a realistic view of the mountains on one side of the bedroom, and a more abstract portrayal on the other side. I had no intention of doing that, but it's kind of neat.
This next photo probably comes closest to the in-real-life colors. Our bedroom walls are a very light gray-blue, not purple at all.
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